This heart-shaped pot-holder, I am ashamed to say, I began and basically finished in June, but it needed a loop to hang it up by and although I kept meaning to get round to it, somehow I never did, so it languished in a work-bag all summer waiting patiently. A bit silly really, when to make a simple crochet strip for a loop and stitch it in place, only takes a few minutes.
I seem to make a habit of this almost-but-not-quite-finishing - I have a cushion cover that's finished apart from the buttons to fasten it; there's a skirt that just needs the hem hand-sewing in place; the blossoming bag of my last post waited for two months for the final blossoms to hang from the handle and there are several other things in the same limbo zone, if I think about it.
But in this month's finishing-things-off-mode, a loop was made and my happy, heart-shaped pot-holder is ensconced in the kitchen where she should be.
I absolutely love the yarn I chose for this - it's Spud and Chloë Sweater - a mixture of wool and cotton - and it's utterly dreamy to crochet with. I was lucky enough to get some for my birthday (as the result of a bit of happy, hooky hinting!) but it's rather expensive so I wanted to use it thriftily. That steered me to choose several smaller projects rather than one big one as I felt this would stretch what I had, to best effect. So a few pot-holders looked a good option (as did a cushion cover and a little Christmas project I've been playing with, of which, more another time) None of them used a huge quantity of yarn and could be enjoyed in different ways and in different rooms. Canny!
The pattern for this heart-shaped pot-holder is on a lovely Norwegian blog - Olavas Verden and the pattern is, not surprisingly, in Norwegian. You can find it here. Despite my complete lack of any Norwegian at all, Olava's version just looked SO lovely that I had to have a go and, with the nice clear pictures and the aid of Google Translate, I took my courage in both hands and plunged in.
I am not sure I've followed the pattern entirely accurately - Google Translate is wonderful, but not infallible, especially when it's asked to navigate the intricacies of crochet terminology! So I had to do a bit of working out on the hoof, as it were, especially for the edging which wasn't included as part of the pattern, but it seems to have worked and I love the way the colours - some of my absolute favourites - harmonise together. If I had my way, my whole house would be in shades of pink, lavender and turquoise, I think!
Olava has another gorgeous, flower-shaped, pot-holder pattern which you can find here and, very helpfully, she has provided an English version here. This also called for a couple of experiments using the same yarn:
I haven't made loops for these because, although the backs looked quite neat, as you can see in this one:
I felt it would enhance their functionality to pad them with a bit of quilt wadding and a disc of fabric.
A happy thought, as they now feel, as well as look, all gorgeous and squishy, but the only problem is that now, loops aren't so easy to attach.
Don't tell me! I know; I should have sandwiched a loop between the backing fabric and the crochet before stitching it all in place!
The absence of loops means these are not hung to hand when a bubbling casserole wants removing from the oven and secretly, I am pleased because I can't bear the idea of Casserole Overspill spoiling my hooky petals or even the cushiony backs! Woe betide anyone who thinks they will use my heart-shaped one for such a purpose either!
Fine to use to retrieve an Apple Glut Cake though, when its baking time is up, and, all golden and risen, it's singing quietly to itself.
This is my version of a Dorset Apple Cake and is basically a pound cake recipe to which peeled and chopped apples are added. I like to flavour it with cinnamon. I refer to it as Apple Glut Cake because I use double the original quantities of apple, when my conscience is pricking me about using all the windfalls strewing the grass, but you can use a smaller quantity for a non-glut version when apples are not coming out of your ears!
If you want the recipe, it's very simple.
Preheat the oven to 170 C and line a deep 20 cm / 8" round cake tin. Cream 225g / half a pound of soft unsalted butter and the same quantity of sugar together. Beat in 4 large eggs along with 225 g / half a pound of self-raising flour and 25 g / 1 oz cornflour that have been sifted together with a heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Peel, core and chop enough apples to fill a 1 litre / 2 pt pudding basin almost to the top. Tip the apple into the cake batter and fold in. Spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for about an hour and a quarter until, as I say, your cake is golden, risen and singing. It keeps surprisingly well considering the amount of apple in there.
Now for the next project whose "call is important" but which has been "held in a queue" for some considerable time! Fortunately, crochet is patient!